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PALM COAST, FL – January 31, 2016 – Google Earth has captured our area’s growth since 1995. The Palm Coast Resort area, where Main Canal intersects with the Intracoastal Waterway has seen many changes over those 20 years.
A slow period of development through 2001 was followed by frenetic activity as hot air inflated the real estate bubble. The resort, as it then existed, was torn down by developer Centex to make way for a grander plan. Then the bubble burst and development languished for seven years.
To many, including me and Shirley, those old resort days were "the good old days." We had stayed at the resort when we first visited Palm Coast in January 2000, “just to look around.” We ended up buying a lot in Grand Haven and deciding to get married that same weekend (both good investments).
Henry’s, at the resort, remains one of my all-time favorite bars. Several of us were there the night before it closed for demolishion. It was like a memorial celebration of life. We capped off the evening with a fully-clothed swim in the pool.
Here’s a 20-year Google’s eye view of the area surrounding Palm Coast Resort:
NORTHEAST PALM COAST MARINA
Let’s take a closer look over time.
PALM COAST RESORT AREA 2-6-1995
You can see the Palm Coast Resort and Marina on the south side of the main canal. On the north side, the Marina Cove yacht basin is completed and condominiums are under construction.
Four years later, not much had happened. Marina Cove is still slowly building out.
By 12-31-2003, the boom was well underway.
In the picture above, Marina Cove is built out. Construction has commenced on Waterside Condominiums, on the northwest corner of Palm Harbor Pkwy and Club House Drive. Across the Intracoastal Waterway, Yacht Harbor Village is beginning to take shape as the marina basin has been excavated.
The Yacht Harbor Marina is complete. Construction on the condominium building has begun. Some of the Waterside Condominiums have been completed.
Big changes here. The resort has been razed, as have many large oak trees. Construction progress at the Yacht Harbor condominiums can be seen. construction is well underway at the Bella Harbor Condominiums, on the north side of the main canal west of Palm Harbor Pkwy.
More progress. The first of three planned condominium towers at Palm Coast Resort is completed. So too is the parking garage. The Yacht Harbor condominium building is complete with pool and tennis courts nearby. Bella Harbor is also complete.
Five years and no appreciable changes since 2007. Palm Coast Resort is entitled for two more condominium towers and a hotel, but the real estate crash put all such projects on hold (or worse).
More of the same. And in January 2016, the additional resort pad sites remain empty.
Those readers who pay attention to details may have noticed that all the Google images are from Winter or early Spring months. That’s the time when the foliage is least dense, exposing greater structure and road details.
The latest Google image date is 1-15-2014. We’re due for an update. Other than some new houses at Yacht Harbor, don’t expect much to have changed. For this specific section of Palm Coast, the buildout of residential homes in Yacht Harbor and the empty pads at Palm Coast Resort are all that remain incomplete. Residential construction in Yacht Harbor has been fairly brisk over the past two years.
The Palm Coast Resort is under contract from Centex/Pulte by the Atlanta-based developer, Jim Jacoby, who recently purchased the Centex/Pulte holdings in Marineland. If the transaction closes, Jacoby could build out the Resort as planned by Centex under the existing Development Order. I understand that the order has expired so he would have to go back to the city for an extension. Or he could take an alternative plan to the city for approval.
PALM COAST RESORT
For readers who are as nostalgic about the old resort, here are some close-up views of the timeline.